Being a business owner has never been for the faint at heart — the fable of being your own boss and getting to call all the shots sounds appealing, but the reality of calculating payroll, maintaining a qualified team and thinking about inventory, customer calls, and the next big project has hobbled more than one leader in the industry.
With this in mind, as the PowerHouse Alliance prepped for our annual National Sales Meeting and the first since the pandemic, we wanted to make sure we were addressing the needs of our members across the board. Meeting with our partner vendors is critical, but we couldn’t overlook how sales tactics and building and maintaining a team are impacting our industry as a whole.
Two keynote speakers from Consilio joined the PowerHouse National Sales Meeting to help members get out of the day-to-day work at their business and begin to think about working on their business. These are three keys that we think any leader can apply to his or her company.
Attitude is Everything
The great resignation has been a hot topic of conversation over the last year, while those tides may turn as we brace for a possible recession, building a team in this industry has always been a challenge — whether you are doing it as a distributor, a dealer, or even a manufacturer. We’ve all suffered with a pipeline of talent that never seems to overflow. No matter your current scenario with the team you have, the experts at Consilio reminded members of the importance of attitude in shaping company culture.
A simple determination of what is above the line and what is below the line is an excellent place to start. Operating above the line is open and positive. It’s about ownership, accountability, and responsibility. Operating below the line is closed and negative. It’s about denial, excuses, defensiveness, and blame. Take a moment to assess where your team is when it comes to company culture. Do they communicate with each other above the line or below the line? Establishing the boundaries of what is above the line and what is below can make a huge impact when it comes to the attitude and outlook of your team.
Are You a Good Coach?
As companies in our industry look to hire new talent and continue to develop their current employees, it’s a great time to think about career paths and how you can effectively coach your teams to reach the next level. The goal is always to have a self-governing team, but to get there you need to be coaching them in the right way. As GA Bartik from Consilio shared, “You should coach to the future, not the past. Consider how often you tell people what not to do — how often are they told what they should do. The reality is when people don’t know what to do they make it up.”
Coaching your team takes time and intention. Getting to know your team’s needs will help you understand how to coach them better. Maybe they need a deeper understanding of why a certain skill is important, or maybe they need to see it demonstrated. Taking a step back to observe your team will help you reinforce what they are doing well and what they can adjust for next time.
Ditch the Divas
No company can deny the importance of sales — keeping customers happy is an important part of any business. But what about those customers that will never be happy? The customers who eat your time and resources and continue to insist there is more you could have done are never satisfied.
Don’t be afraid to drop the divas.
Having bad customers can quickly tank the morale of your team. Know the value you bring as a partner, so when one of your customers becomes more trouble to manage than his or her business is worth, it’s time for him or her to become someone else’s client. Just as you shouldn’t say “yes” to every job, you can’t say “yes” to every customer.